25 November 2021
The following commentary has been issued by Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals in response to today’s release of KPMG Australia’s Mutuals Industry Review 2021.
The review found Australia’s mutual banks, building societies and credit unions increased overall operating profit before tax by 38.6 percent to $685.0m in the 2021 financial year, with total assets up 7.4 percent to $148.2b. The renewed growth by the mutuals reflected Australia’s strong economy and housing market, and a reversal of the COVID-related loan loss provisions from 2020.
Ms Morrison said: “The results of KPMG’s review underscore the importance of the sector to the national economy. The unique member-based business model of mutuals means they are well-placed to withstand the sorts of challenges posed by the pandemic. The fact that so many Australians choose to borrow from mutuals when buying their home also demonstrates the level of trust they’ve earned, as the profit motives of the major banks have come under question in recent years. And that speaks to fact that the “social” in ESG is part of the mutuals’ DNA.”